Saturday, May 25, 2013

Arugula Pesto

Anyone who has spent time on this blog knows that I am stinkin' crazy over arugula. I can never get enough of that peppery lettuce. I also love pesto, so it was twice the joy to discover "Simply Fresh Cooking's" recipe for Arugula Pesto.

The beauty of pesto is that it is so incredibly versatile. So first I'm going to give you the arugula pesto recipe, then I'm going to share a bunch of different ways to put it to good use!

2 cups fresh arugula, packed
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, packed 
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast pine nuts until aromatic and lightly browned; about 2 -3 minutes.  
  2. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add garlic and process on high for about 3 seconds.  Add pine nuts, parmesan cheese, mixed greens, basil, and blend while slowly adding the olive oil, stopping once to scrape down sides of container. 
  3. Salt and pepper to taste.  
  4. Use immediately, refrigerate (up to 1 week) or freeze until ready to use. 

My Favorite Uses for Arugula Pesto
  • Pasta with Arugula Pesto: Prepare 16 ounces of your favorite pasta and toss with 1/2 cup of arugula pesto and a little bit of pasta water.
  • Arugula Pesto Tuna Salad: Toss 2 cans drained tuna, 5 chopped radishes, 1/4 cup each chopped parsley, red onion and roasted red peppers, 3 tablespoons arugula pesto and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar.
  • Steak Sandwich with Arugula Pesto Spread: Grill up a steak, slice thinly. Place on bread topped with thinly sliced onions and arugula. Coat top piece of bread with arugula pesto and serve.
  • Arugula Pesto Steak: Mix 1/4 cup pesto, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon hot water. Grill or broil 1 1/4 pounds skirt steak; brush with the pesto mixture and serve.
  • Arugula Pesto Salad: Whisk 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar and 1/4 cup pesto. Toss with baby greens and serve with baguette toasts spread with goat cheese.
  • Arugula Pesto Shrimp: Marinate 1 pound shrimp in 2 tablespoons each arugula pesto and olive oil; add 1 lemon (cut into wedges) and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Grill about 3 minutes per side. Season with salt. 
  • Italian BLT: Spread arugula pesto on toasted bread; fill with crisp pancetta, sliced tomato and arugula.

    Wine pairings: For lighter dishes that seem to go better with a white wine, I would choose a Sauvignon Blanc. For dishes that align with reds, I would choose a Pinot Noir (Italian BLT) or Cabernet Sauvignon (steak dishes).


  1. Hi Terry! I just read your profile about how you grew to love cooking because of your grandmother. Awesome! My mother was just a basic cook but I have become an amazing cook (if I do say so myself). I did not get to grow up with grandparents as they died before I was born. So, my former mother in law who was Greek taught me to cook like a gourmet. I also spent time with a guy years ago who is a caterer and he taught me even more. I was watching a Rachel Ray 30 minute meal show the other day and she blended arugula and parsley in a food processor to use as a topping for a meat dish she was preparing. I had NO idea arugula could be used as a pesto so I googled "arugula pesto" and your site is one I found most interesting. You offered ways to serve the arugula pesto you make and that was what I needed. I just made my first arugula pesto and plan on using it tomorrow night for grilled chicken. I'm going to use it for the other things you suggested as well now that I know how to make arugula pesto! Thanks!

  2. You are welcome, Rebekah! It's great to connect to a fellow cook and arugula lover. Enjoy and let me know if you come up with any other uses.

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